Microsoft have more budget phones than I can keep count of (but that could be changing) and the phone I am reviewing is the dual SIM Lumia 535 another budget Lumia.

The Lumia 535 is a 5 inch Windows Phone running Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim, at £99 SIM free it fits between the £60 Lumia 435 and £169 new Lumia 640.

The design is very similar to the Lumia 640 with a glossy plastic back that you can remove to access the SIM card slots, battery and MicroSD card slots. There is a MicroUSB port on the bottom, headphone port at the top, volume rocker and power button. There is no dedicated camera button which is a shame as I find that really handy for quickly taking photos on my Lumia 1520. As with other recent Windows Phones the back, Windows and search buttons are the onscreen type and not dedicated buttons, you have to swipe up to bring the controls on screen.

The 5 inch screen runs at 960 x 540 which is a step up from the 4 inch 435 but not as good as the 640 which runs at 1280 x 720. As with all Lumia phones the screen is very clear and bright and while it doesn’t look as good as a high end device as the 1520 it is very useable. Overall I like the design given its budget price.

The phone has 1GB of RAM which is good, 512MB on the 630/635 isn’t enough and the extra RAM helps with app performance. The processor is a quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 which is the same as the 435 and is perfectly adequate for Windows Phone. I don’t mean that in a negative way, app performance is great and much faster than the 630. Windows Phone doesn’t have high CPU requirements and the 1GB is what makes app loading and switching faster.

The rear camera is 5MP with flash and there is a front camera which Microsoft don’t what the spec is but I think it is around 3MP. As you can see the colours are good and even the front camera produces good images.

Front Camera:

The camera launches quickly and you can adjust the while balance, ISO setting, shutter speed and brightness but I expect most of the time you would use it in auto mode. With the Lumia camera app you get Smart Sequence for recording a sequence of photos and then you can create action shots with them later.

The Lumia 535 comes with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 (not update 2) and you get a good selection of Lumia apps including Lumia Camera, Lumia Selife and Lumia Storyteller an app for creating photo stories. One thing I do like is the double tap to turn on feature, something I use a lot on my 1520.

It is a nice little phone for the price, if you can stretch for the extra £69 I would go for the Lumia 640, if you can’t it is a good step up from the £60 Lumia 435. It would be a good phone for testing out Windows 10 Mobile.

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